I need someone to explain this to me.

Reflow Oven Controller with Graphic LCD

Reflow Controller

A reflow oven is one of the most useful tools you will ever have, and if you haven’t built one yet, now is as good a time as any. [0xPIT's] Arduino based reflow oven controller with a graphic LCD is one of the nicest reflow controllers we’ve seen.

Having a reflow oven opens up a world of possibilities. All of those impossible to solder surface mount devices are now easier than ever. Built around the Arduino Pro Micro and an Adafruit TFT color LCD, this project is very straight forward. You can either make your own controller PCB, or use [0xPIT's] design. His design is built around two solid state relays, one for the heating elements and one for the convection fan. “The software uses PID control of the heater and fan output for improved temperature stability.” The project write-up is also on github, so be sure to scroll down and take a look at the README.

All you need to do is build any of the laser cutters and pick and place machines that we have featured over the years, and you too can have a complete surface mount assembly line!

Another Reflow Soldering Solution

hotplate

Still looking for a good way to reflow solder at home? Look no further! [Don] has a very handy and inexpensive solution that looks great. It makes use of a cheap hot plate, a solid state relay, an IR temperature sensor, and an arduino.

[Don] started by modifying the hotplate by reversing the handle mount — this provides a useful location to mount the IR temperature sensor. The control circuit uses PWM to adjust the temperature of the hot plate using the solid state relay. Because the IR temperature sensor has a cone of visibility it ends up reading an average area temperature as opposed to an individual point — for reflow soldering this is perfect. [Don] notes that some calibration is required, as depending on the emissivity of the object being measured the readout can differ — shiney objects will read a lower temperature than dark objects. He recommends doing the calibration with a scrap PCB and your chosen solder paste to get a general baseline for your project.

Need more info on the actual reflow process? We posted a handy guide a few months ago.